In April of this year, ESPN’s Michael S. Schmidt reported that Major League Baseball engaged in a bidding war of sorts with Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, with both parties hoping to obtain evidence from Biogenesis Of America’s Anthony Bosch documenting Rodriguez’ purchase of performance enhancing drugs.  Rodriguez denied the claim at the time, and on Wednesday — a day after Bosch reportedly agreed to cooperate with MLB’s investigation — A-Rod’s camp is quick to portray their guy as the victim of a shakedown attempt, as the New York Daily News’ quartet of Terri Thompson, Michael O’Keefe, Christian Red and Bill Madden explain.

The owner of the South Florida anti-aging clinic at the center of baseball’s latest doping scandal asked embattled Yankee star Alex Rodriguez for financial help after Major League Baseball filed a lawsuit that alleged he had sold performance-enhancing drugs to Major League Baseball players.

When Rodriguez rebuffed Anthony Bosch’s request for money, believed to be in the hundreds of thousands, the self-styled “biochemist” turned to a strange bedfellow — MLB. “A-Rod refused to pay him what he wanted,” said a source. “Baseball was worried about that.”

Bosch, who had dodged MLB for months, apparently began to have a change of heart about cooperating with baseball sometime after he denied in an ESPN interview on April 30 that he knew anything about performance-enhancing drugs. “I have been accused, tried and convicted in the media. And so I think have been falsely accused throughout the media,” he told ESPN’s Pedro Gomez. “I’ve done nothing wrong….I said no comment on any names. These are my clients. I am not going to divulge anything of my clients,” he said. “I am a nutritionist. I don’t know anything about performance-enhancing drugs.”

Bosch apparently became frustrated with that tactic, however, after Rodriguez rejected his request for money, his legal bills mounted and the threat of criminal prosecution became a more credible.